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The insect on the cover of Learning WML and WMLScript is a mosquito (nematocera culicidae).

The mosquito is a flying, bloodsucking insect best known, and even feared, for its biting and spreading of disease. There are approximately 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the world, with over 150 species in North America.

Mosquitoes usually live close to a water source because the larva must develop in water, which can be anything from a running stream to stagnant water in a birdbath. Depending on the species, a mosquito’s life span is between two weeks and a few months. Some can hibernate at temperatures below 50 degrees F, but others can’t survive in temperatures that low.

Only female mosquitoes bite; males do not. Females must bite because they need blood to develop their eggs. They bite once per batch of eggs, and a female can lay several batches in her lifetime, which multiplies into many generations of mosquitoes per year. Both sexes feed primarily on nectar and other plant and fruit liquids.

Mosquitoes are attracted to humans, and other mammals, by the carbon dioxide exhaled when breathing. Other factors also contribute, such as body odor, body heat, and sweat, and sometimes perfumes, deodorants, and detergents.

Mosquito bites are more ...

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